Simple Steps to Keep Warm While Sleeping Outdoors

Simple Steps to Keep Warm While Sleeping Outdoors

Nights can get chilly in the great outdoors, even during the middle of the summer.  Believe it or not, many people lose a lot of body heat while camping during warm weather months, and cases of hypothermia are not uncommon.  Let’s take a look at a few practical tricks that can help you to stay warm and dry.

Go to Bed Warm

Young black woman in the downward-facing dog yoga pose

If you go to bed cold, chances are that you will stay cold while you sleep.  One of the best things that you can do is some mild exercise before you go to bed.  The trick is to do just enough to warm your body without starting to sweat.  A few jumping jacks or other simple moves is all that you need.  This will help to keep your body warm from the inside. 

Change Your Clothes

If you go to sleep with damp clothes, especially if sweating all day long, then this can cause your skin to get cold while you sleep.  It also takes longer for your body or sleeping bag to warm damp clothes.  Putting on a fresh shirt and pants can make all of the difference, and it also gives you the opportunity to let damp clothes air-dry overnight as well.

Cover your Head and Feet

Not many people think about wearing a hat or socks to bed during the summer, but remember that our bodies lose more heat from these areas than anywhere else.  A thin hat and pair of socks will help to control heat loss while also allowing some to escape, and this can help to regulate temperatures and keep you more comfortable.

Don’t Sleep on the Ground


The ground is often cooler at night than the ambient air, which is what contributes to the formation of dew and mist.  Sleeping directly on the ground can also drain your body of heat.  Find a good mat or gather some leaves or forest debris to provide a barrier and cushion between you and the ground in order to regulate temperatures and stay warmer and drier.

Food and Water

Consider eating an energy bar or other snack that burns slowly in order to generate heat from the inside out.  You should also drink a glass or two of water before bed as well.  Water acts as an insulator and helps to regulate body temperatures.  While it cools us down during the day, it also warms us up during the night, and you can avoid getting too cold or too hot by having a small drink before bed.  Just remember to avoid drinking too much so you don’t feel the urge to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.  The process of trying to “hold it” can actually make you cold.

Keep in mind that there is a delicate balance between staying warm and getting too hot.  However, on chilly nights, these tricks can help you to regulate temperatures and get a more comfortable night’s sleep.  The important lesson to take away from this is that you should always pack some warm gear even if you are heading out into the wilderness in the middle of the summer.  You never know when it will come in handy.

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